Title: Rebels (Assassin’s Academy #1)
Author: Everly Frost
Genre: Fiction/ YA/ Fantasy/ Romance/ Paranormal
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Favourite Quote: ‘”The first twenty-four hours determine whether you live or die. They break you, beat you, and make you puke your guts up. It’s a perfect trifecta of pain, dehydration, and fear that works every time. All newcomers reveal their power.”
I stare at the ceiling. “Not every time. Nothing works for me.”
20 year old Peyton Price is classed as an Unknown in the magical world, her parents have had enough of her and her suppressed magic, an embarrassment to the family who are on edge that she will soon have a flicker fit which would endanger everyone around her. Bloodwing Academy is a reform school for the magically suppressed, a means to bring out the full potential of their abilities through cruel and torturous means. No one has ever left Bloodwing alive, Peyton intends to be the first.
Striker Draven has been at Bloodwing Academy since it began, the only Unknown in the school with powerful connections and a dark strength that separates him from the other students. When a new Unknown student arrives, he can already hear her anger and frustration through her screams that echo through the school. He can already tell that she’s different but he won’t be falling for another trick. Not like the last time. No one will ever get close enough to him again.
‘I didn’t believe she was wounded. I didn’t believe how pale she was. I didn’t even believe the way she gave up fighting me in the hallway when I stomped on her food. I didn’t believe anything about her… until she took off her shirt. The foundations shifted beneath me when I saw the deep claw marks across her shoulder, the thin trickles of blood running down her back and chest. Now I shout into the wind and rain, cursing every step I’ve taken since she arrived. She’s an Unknown, brought here to die.’
I wasn’t sure what to say about this book. There was so much I liked about it, it was unpredictable, dark and engaging, but it just missed the spark I was after. It needed more depth, more building in both the characters and settings in Bloodwing Academy, there was so much potential in it but it lost something along the way.
I would like to give credit when it is due of course, so I have to say, I really enjoyed the plot. The idea that there are magical beings who have suppressed magic, and a mysterious hidden academy that will do anything to bring said powers to the surface, whatever it takes. Literally. Monstrous creatures living in the dungeon, teachers who aren’t doing their job unless students are breaking their bones in training, as well as the lack of infirmary to keep them focused at all times. It’s a complete mad house and the gruesome details that came with each beating weren’t held back. Add a bad boy anti-hero to the mix and you’ve got yourself a really interesting fantasy romance with a dark twist.
The characters were great, but like I said, they needed more build up, I didn’t feel much for them the majority of the time, as much as I wanted too, since most interactions between characters were always so quick. The story itself was told from two viewpoints, Peyton and Striker, which definitely helped to build a connection between the two of them. It was interesting to see how the author told parts of the story twice to capture both of their perspectives. I don’t see that often in books.
Peyton was an intriguing protagonist, she adapted into a strong person with years of abuse being an Unknown, I quite liked the little fact that no matter how strong she was, she couldn’t hold back betraying tears when she was in pain – and she was in pain a lot. It gave her character a small weakness as well as her fear of heights. She’s never had friends before so it took her a while to accept the innocent gestures from her fellow classmates who wanted to look out for each other. The way that her abilities started to manifest around Striker was a nice concept, linking them closer together.
Striker, our bad boy anti-hero was a pain in the ass. He kept himself distant from his classmates but stood in to help when things got bad and often took the hit because he was the only one strong enough to do so. The school used him as a means to test various forms of punishment which they delighted in, one in particular was using a girl to bring out various other emotions besides pain so it wasn’t all surprising when he became immediately suspicious of Peyton and her rare ‘Unknown’ status. He couldn’t help but feel drawn to her, especially as the beast inside him saw something inside her that he couldn’t get enough of. Things became increasingly interesting when their inner demons came out to play.
‘A sudden smile curved my lips. Nobody’s ever dared to be that righteously angry with me before. I’ve only known her for two days and already I’ve run the gambit of emotions around her: hate, distrust, apathy, empathy, fear, worry, lust. The burn behind my eyes tells me that my beast likes her. A little too much. I’m going to have to be careful. The last time I got close to someone, it ended in bloodshed. The beasts’s feelings are expressed as a deep growl in the back of my mind. ‘That situation in your past was different from this. That other girl was not your equal.’
As strange as it might seem, I particularly liked the scary ex-assassin professor Raptor they brought in to challenge Peyton and bring out her inner powers. Whilst his abilities were damn right terrifying, I couldn’t help but enjoy the way he looked at her. Like he wanted her – which I was keen to see more of. His determination to break her was intriguing, there was something more to the story that you couldn’t help but feel drawn too as he’s determined to unlock the truth from her one way or another.
‘He circles me again. “Welcomes pain.”
I jolt when he runs a finger across the side of my neck.
“But hates gentle touch. What are you, Peyton Price? A witch? A shifter? With eyes like yours, you must be something other than what you appear.”
I’m genuinely curious. “What about my eyes?”
A smile slimmers around his mouth. “Take the dagger and I’ll tell you.”‘
Overall I do have to admit that I enjoyed reading this book, there are only two books in this small series so it won’t take you long to complete if you wanted to check them out!
Rebel or die. My choices are simple. I’ve been sent to Bloodwing Academy because I’m one of the magically repressed. I should have magical powers, but I don’t. Not yet. One day I’ll wake up and my powers will be out of my control. I’ll be a threat to everyone around me, but that doesn’t mean they should lock me up.
Especially with someone like Striker Draven. As heir to the Draven fortune, he thinks he can have whatever he wants. He wants to pull me apart, rip out my power, and take my heart with it.
That’s if I don’t rip his out first.
My name is Peyton Price. My freedom is going to come at a cost. Body and mind, I have to decide if I’m willing to pay it.